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I saw that the book said that nitrogen cations must have four bonds and no lone pairs. I wasn't sure why you couldn't have a lone pair and 2 bonds.

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  • $\begingroup$ If the nitrogen atom has one lone pair, it must have THREE bonds. So can you revise your question? $\endgroup$ – SteffX Jan 10 '18 at 17:08
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    $\begingroup$ Nitrogen must satisfy the octet rule; having one lone pair and two bonds would be too unstable. $\endgroup$ – a-cyclohexane-molecule Jan 10 '18 at 17:09
  • $\begingroup$ How could it have a lone pair and three bonds if the nitrogen has a positive formal charge? @SteffX $\endgroup$ – dylanray100 Jan 10 '18 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ On a similar note, why is it that oxygen with a negative formal charge may have 1 bond and 3 lone pairs? I'm struggling with this concept to determine what the appropriate amount of bonds and lone pairs are. Why couldn't a negative oxygen have 3 bonds and 2 lone pairs? Wouldn't you still have 7 electrons? I feel like I'm missing a pretty important concept. @a-cyclohexane-molecule $\endgroup$ – dylanray100 Jan 10 '18 at 17:30
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    $\begingroup$ Such cations are called nitrenium ions and are very reactive. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Jan 10 '18 at 18:50

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